"New Years Eve - Bad treatment on Ward 3"

About: Leighton Hospital

My son was referred to the PAA ward New Years Eve by his GP suffering severe headaches and it continuing for 3 daysThe staff on the PAA ward were great and my son was looked after well.He had a CT which was clear,a lumbar puncture was ordered as my son had been having headaches a while and a CT scan can only be 70% conclusive for a bleed on the brain,the doctor wanted to rule this out.We were transferred to Ward 3 for lumbar puncture and was put in the treatment room at 3.30pm.The doctor came and went through the reasons for the lumbar puncture,checking for bleed on the brain and the lumbar puncture went ahead.Up to that point everything was fine,the doctor sent the test off to try and get it tested before 5pm as the laboratory closed,he went and asked if my son was going back on the PAA ward,he returned saying that there was no bed and my son would have to stay in the treatment room until the results were known.Now, considering my son was being tested for a bleed on the brain and only an hour before,he was having his obs taken regularly, given pain killers and being cared for! My son was left on ward 3 in the treatment room on a small chair from 4.30, at 5.00 he was asked if he wanted some tea, 6.30 a male nurse came in and asked why we were there, we explained and he said "I will go and check and make sure you haven't been forgotten about!" He came back and said someone would be with us.I explained and stressed my concern that considering what results we were waiting for,nobody had been near my son to check on him. 7.00pm my son went to the Reception area in a lot of pain and asked when he would be seen or get the results, he was told somebody would be with him. 7.30pm the Sister came and said she had spoke to the doctor, the results were clear and he could go home, I expressed my concern that nobody had come to check on him for 3 hrs and considering they only had just found out his results from the lumbar puncture, to not check on him was disgusting, he was exactly the same as when he came in and why isn't a doctor coming to see him. She replied "if you want to see a doctor you will have a long wait".I said that didn't matter I wanted him to see a doctor.2hrs later no one came near,other than going out and feeling like we were mithering them,did we come into contact with any staff.When the staff changed over we asked the male sister what was happening, he told me that my son had been discharged and he was only here because we had insisted he seen a doctor.10.15pm a doctor turned up, he told us to leave the room,when he had finished speaking at my son,I stopped him and asked what was happening, he said there was nothing sinister and he could go home,he was abrupt and my son said he was abrupt to him.My son was sent home,no follow up appointment, we had to find a nurse to have his canular taken out of his arm.10.30 we left.2nd Jan,a phone call, go back to PAA lumbar wasn't clear,protein was high! 4 days in hospital,investigations ongoing!

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Response from Leighton Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns on NHS choices as it is really important that we are made aware of patients who have not had a good in patient experience. I am really sorry that your son was not offered a bed following the lumber puncture procedure and waited at length in the treatment room to see the doctor, without regular attendance by the nursing staff. Unfortunately the admission was at a time of extreme bed pressures and the use of the treatment room was the only available option to ensure that the lumber puncture could take place. However, I would expect that you would be kept updated by the nursing and medical staff following the procedure and that regular enquiries that your son was comfortable should have been completed. As Matron for AMU I will discuss the issues raised with the nursing staff and inform the service manager of the medical issues experienced in order that we can learn from this incident and improve the standards of care. If you wish to discuss this in person I would be happy to arrange to meet informally at a convenient time and this can be arranged through Customer Care Team on 01270 612410 Your sincerely Loraine Cornes Matron, Emergency Care Division

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